Authorities in St. Petersburg are expecting many Chinese tourists to visit the city during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the head of the city's tourism committee Andrei Mushkaryov said.

"There are a lot of football fans in China, they are very interested in the [FIFA] World Cup and asked [us] to create package tours for them, which would include booked hotels, tickets to matches and guided tours to the tournament's host cities," Mushkaryov said, as quoted by TASS news agency.

The official added that a tourist office under the brand Visit Petersburg recently opened in Beijing. The authorities are looking to open more offices oin China and possibly in India.

According to Mushkaryov, authorutues expect over 200,000 Chinese tourists to visit St. Petersburg in 2017. Last year, 2.8 million foreign tourists took a trip to Russia's second biggest city.

St. Petersburg will host several key matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, including the semi-final.